Biochar Workshop Scheduled for Ord on March 27th

February 01, 2018

A day-long workshop in Ord is one of three statewide slated to provide Nebraskans with an overview on biochar.  Attendees will also learn how to make the product through a hands-on demonstration.  The event will be held at the Valley County Fairgrounds in Ord on March 27th from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Biochar is charcoal used as a soil amendment. Biochar is a stable solid, rich in carbon, and can endure in soil for thousands of years. Like most charcoal, biochar is made from biomass via pyrolysis (thermal decomposition of materials at elevated temperatures in an inert atmosphere such as a vacuum).  Biochar is under investigation as an approach to carbon sequestration.

Workshop Presenter Kelpie Wilson of Wilson Biochar Associates has over 30 years experience in renewable energy, sustainable forestry, and resource conservation.  Wilson has focused on biochar for the past decade, working for several years at the International Biochar Initiative, responsible for managing a multi-stakeholder process to draft the first international standards and testing guidelines for biochar.  She remains on the board of the U.S. Biochar Initiative and is a founder and contributing editor of the Biochar Journal.

The tentative agenda for the workshop is as follows:

 9:00-9:30 am Registration

 9:30 - 12:00 pm  - Basic biochar science.  How biochar affects soil chemistry and biology, starting with nano-scale (electrons) and moving up to micro-scale (bacteria) and macro-scale (the plant roots).

                            - Examples of biochar used in different applications - compost, manure management, farms, trees, gardens

                            - Biochar and the carbon cycle

                   - Pyrolysis basics

                   - Traditional Charcoal

                   - Industrial Biochar

          - DIY Flame Carbonization

Biochar Burn (Conservation Burn)

TLUD (Top-Lit Up-Draft) Gasifiers

Flame Camp Kiln

   - Go Big, Go Commercial

    Noon Hour      - Lunch

1:00 - 3:00 pm    - Biochar Burn Demo

Other workshops will be held March 28th in the Great Plains Room of the NU East Campus Union in Lincoln and March 29th at the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Lawrence, Kansas.   

Register for the workshop online at this site.

For more information, contact Heather Nobert of UNL at 402-782-1453.

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